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#1 Tai|\|ted

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 03:15 PM

i've been thinking about moving to bulk substrates, but i may not have access to straw...i have (or will have soon) worm castings, sheep/cow dung compost, coir and vermaculite. is it possible to make a good bulk substrate without the use of straw with these materials?

#2 Guest_golly_*

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 04:05 PM

Substrate without straw is my preference unless its fully composted ...I think u have the main ingredients for a good grow...All that remains is to mix em up so it has a texture which will allow the myc to easily penetrate and the right moisture content..
Pasteurize n spawn a qt to the gallon or less...In my house, straw likes to turn green but compost seems very resistant....The coir and verm are great for creating good texture in place of the straw...I use shredded mulch for that purpose...

#3 Tai|\|ted

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 04:09 PM

would it be fine to do without the worm castings though? something like 50% verm 30% cow dung and 20% coir would be fine, or should those ratios be adjusted a bit?

#4 Guest_Peter Cottontail_*

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 04:58 PM

This is my 'apartment dwellers' compost recipe. Everything is used just as you buy it bagged up, except the used coffee grinds, which you just need to save every morning by putting in a bag and keeping in the refrigerator until needed. If you don't drink coffee, just stop by any Ihop or Denny's(breakfast restaurants) and they'll give you all you want. You can even throw the coffee filters into the mix.

Mix two parts moistened coir, two parts worm castings, two parts composted cow manure, two parts used coffee grinds, 1/2 part composted chicken manure, and 1/2 part hydrated lime. Mix all those ingredients together, moisten to field capacity, then mix all of that with an equal amount of moistened vermiculite. Load into quart jars and place lids on the jars. Put in a very large pot of cold water that is at least 2/3 of the way up the jars, and put the lid on. Turn on the stove and bring to a boil. As soon as it boils, shut off the stove, but leave the jars sitting in the hot water. When cool, they're pasteurized and ready to use.

Note: Field capacity means if you pick up a handful of the material, no water will drip out on its own by gravity. However, if you squeeze it gently, a few drops will come out, and if you squeeze it hard, a steady stream will come out. This is how to achieve the correct moisture content for both compost and casing material.

#5 Tai|\|ted

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 05:45 PM

would the recipe work fine without the use of coffee grinds and chicken manure?i know you've been using coffee grinds and coffee for your grains and swear by it for most recipes, but i'm not a coffee drinker and don't think i'll be able to get enough coffee grinds for a bulk grow. if I made it with two part coir 3 part castings and 3 parts manure and 1/2 part hydrated lime would it still be a well made compost recipe?

Btw rodger i've been using your method for preparing rye and it's been working great...i'd like to thank you for all the advice that i've gotten on your part, despite it never being direct

#6 vrooota

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 08:26 AM

alright, so I'm starting to build up spawn again and I'd like to try something a little cooler than just making mini casings ;) so I want all the current sage advice on bulk substrates. A couple of simple q's to start with:
Where do all of you get worm castings other than the internet? I'll order online if I have to but would rather not. Or I could get cow poo....I'm a good con artist but I don't know how easy it would be to get one of my friends to put some cow shit for me in their trunk, LOL. In all the straw teks I read it says to use wheat straw. Is there a big difference from wheat straw and the stuff you'd find in a dairy farmers barn? Otherwise I gotta ask the farmer and get funny looks ect. Also I've got two routes to go on fruiting style, I can make straw nugs and set em in a big plastic container in a humidity tent or I could just put the straw in the containers and fruit from there. which would prolly be better?

#7 cutty

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 08:41 AM

Im no expert by any means with straw,I actually just did my first logs a few nights ago so I had all these probs.My solution to asking Q's about supplies if asked is "I'm learning about oyster cultivation" Its legal so why lie.Everything you listed there could be found at a farm supply store.Another thing...Try to call the farm supply store or where ever your plpanning on picking this stuff up ahead of time,this way they cant see your face when asking Q's...Then you just walk in and find what you need and head back to the car.

#8 destroy_erase_improve

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 09:00 AM

well as you know there are a lot of paths you can walk with this. you can do strawlogs with no manure at all and skip that if you like. if you want poo you can buy it at walmart in most areas . its said to not be as good as fresh poo nugs but its treated a foaf fine.

i say do RR strawlog tek:
http://www.mycotopia...icle.php?34.255
it doesnt get much simpler than that and theres no bullshit involved.literally :D

#9 Guest_pissybee_*

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 09:17 AM

Worm castings can usually be found at garden centers, wheat straw is probably what you see at most farms, it's yellow in color... Composted poo is much better than fresh poo, so check farms around with cows or horses, many have compost piles and will let you haul the manure away for free sometimes, depending on where you live. I like straw logs in open air, but LB's or bins do well too, and if you're gonna use poo, I'd recommend the bin or LB because it isn't as messy... You could try either way for humidity, I've had success just draping some plastic over a straw bin and fanning it occasionally and dunking when it dries out... Logs seem the easiest, IMO, but it's really up to you to find what you like best...

#10 Guest_Peter Cottontail_*

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 09:27 AM

Also, it need not be wheat straw. Stamets doesn't even use wheat straw anymore. The only straw I've ever used is Barley straw, and Stamets gets rice straw from a local rice farmer.

#11 smegma

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 09:42 AM

Worm castings can usually be found at garden centers, wheat straw is probably what you see at most farms, it's yellow in color... Composted poo is much better than fresh poo, so check farms around with cows or horses, many have compost piles and will let you haul the manure away for free sometimes, depending on where you live. I like straw logs in open air, but LB's or bins do well too, and if you're gonna use poo, I'd recommend the bin or LB because it isn't as messy... You could try either way for humidity, I've had success just draping some plastic over a straw bin and fanning it occasionally and dunking when it dries out... Logs seem the easiest, IMO, but it's really up to you to find what you like best...



I feel like the general consensus is to do straw logs if possible, my only problem with that is that I have never seen a pic of a GOOD pinset on a log. Not like the "blanket" of caps you see on some tray pics.

Is this just a lack of pics?

#12 I_am_me

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 09:47 AM

I'd go with straw mixed with worm castings in a rubbermaid.

Nice, self contained and low maintenance.

#13 smegma

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 09:48 AM

I'd go with straw mixed with worm castings in a rubbermaid.

Nice, self contained and low maintenance.


Lots of them? ;)

You just fan them all out by hnd?

#14 Guest_dial8_*

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 09:50 AM

Straw logs generally do not pin as well as some other grow methods but you must weigh your options.....straw logs are much more convenient than other methods so to me a few less fruit for convenience is a good trade off. You can find wheat straw at lowes or home depot. Like rr said many types of "grasses" will work. Fescue hay will also work, although it may be lower in nutritional value than, wheat, barley, or rice.

I feel like the general consensus is to do straw logs if possible, my only problem with that is that I have never seen a pic of a GOOD pinset on a log. Not like the "blanket" of caps you see on some tray pics.

Is this just a lack of pics?



#15 sandman

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 11:55 AM

do a visions laundry basket! Check the archives. No lack of pin set there holmes.

#16 I_am_me

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 12:14 PM

The key is isolating a good fruiting substrain before every choosing a tek to grow it with.

Any bulk tek can have massive pinsets if you isolate good strains.

#17 vrooota

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 12:22 PM

wow thanx for all the responses so quik guys!
I looked for poo and verm in my wally world but its out of season here, so I have to look elsewhere. Would they have castings at a hydroponics store? They ahve straw at home depot? WHy!!!? thats awesome though, it'll save me some time if they have it. Thanx a bunch people!

#18 smegma

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 12:34 PM

wow thanx for all the responses so quik guys!
I looked for poo and verm in my wally world but its out of season here, so I have to look elsewhere. Would they have castings at a hydroponics store? They ahve straw at home depot? WHy!!!? thats awesome though, it'll save me some time if they have it. Thanx a bunch people!


Yes, castings at hydro store.

No straw at Depot here.

#19 Guest_golly_*

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 01:58 PM

If ya think that growin some kinda mushroom is more than just a passing fancy then i think nothing would beat having your own worm farm and producing a never ending supply of substrate .All organic and u can tailor the nutrient makeup to suit your needs...With hardly any maintenance involved and the small space required its a great way to turn garbage into black gold...Proly bout 50 bucks to set up a nice system and about 2 months to get production going - after that its all gravy...
Also makes great fertilizer for the botanically inclined..These days i dont even have to seperate out the worms , its done automatically....

#20 vrooota

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 02:09 PM

I would love to be a worm farmer, I used to do it(very small scale) for bait and frog food when I was younger, but now I don't have the space, otherwise I would have started a compost pile too. Someday maybe...but then I'll prolly end up with a cow and a hayfield.




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